Domestic Violence Awareness Month happens in October, but every day of the year several thousands of people are experiencing harm in their relationships. Normally when people hear of domestic violence stories they think of a woman, scarred and bruised from being battered by a man. The image of a woman’s swollen face with a black eye and bloody lip is probably the first visual that forms in most minds when they imagine someone who has experienced domestic violence.
Yoga and its ties to mental health is a burgeoning area of discussion in the mental health field. The way I see it, yoga and psychology are like two roads that eventually converge into one: they both lead toward healthier, more joyful lives, but they originate from different places. My name is Julie Caramanico. I am a certified yoga instructor for adults and children with a master’s degree in Health Psychology. I teach trauma-informed yoga to adults (vinyasa style) and teach kids yoga for children with special needs. For the purposes of this blog, I will be conducting an interview with Jessica Pavelka, a psychotherapist and yoga teacher. We discussed how she uses yoga in therapy, and she offered her wisdom on utilizing yogic tools for two of the most common mental health concerns: depression and anxiety.
My belief in Jesus Christ has given me hope and opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. Growing up I was a nervous kid, fearful of having responsibilities that I was asked to perform, even simple ones. I thought I didn’t have the ability to complete the tasks. Even worse, I was often overlooked by authority figures to be given the duties in the first place. In my mind, they were confirming what I already believed to be true: I was too inadequate to take on responsibilities.
The body remembers. When I started practicing yoga, I felt really good. Two years in, I became more dedicated to yoga and started doing a more intensive yoga practice (Ashtanga) for a few hours a day.